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PDC Dev Team -- Plasma Screen Application at PDC

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If you were at the PDC last month you saw these plasma screens all over the place. They use RSS and the new Windows Presentation Foundation. Follow us along to to the PDC and meet the guys who built the screens and see them in use at the PDC. They even used Flickr to distribute attendees' own photos!

Jeff Sandquist, Ernie Booth, Joe Smith are the ones who did this app. Pretty cool!

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  • dahatdahat inanity makes my head hurt
    I know that you say that there is no editing on Channel 9... I do think that we would all forgive you if you were to yank out everything in that video prior to you saying “take two” around 2:25, still quite funny to see though.
  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!

    Would love to see the code for the display. Scoble can you post a link if and when it becomes available?

    Great stuff.

     

     

  • dahatdahat inanity makes my head hurt
    I must say after seeing that video... I’m awed, humbled... and a little afraid.

    When I first heard about the displays, I figured they were using something not unlike a Sencore HDTV996A or VP3340 (two products I built), both of which play an MPEG-2 transport stream (not unlike what you would pick up over the air) and either modulates it to an RF channel (exactly like what is broadcast OTA in the US) or decodes it and provides an HD DVI or RGB output.

    These things are often used for in store advertising and information as well as pre film advertising at movie theaters... Everything that they put out is pre-recorded and schedulable... and seeing the level of detail and dynamic display is... mind boggling and makes me wonder just how far people are going to want to take displays like those shown here and how soon my bosses or one of our customers is going to want something like that built.
  • Tyler BrownTyler Brown Bullets change governments far surer than votes.
    Amazing application, I truly am in awe. I can't believe that no one else mentioned this while the PDC was going on! I'd love to see this thing in action.. any possibility of the code being released for this, or is it a personal project that the authors would like to keep under wraps?

    I'm peticularly interested in how they went about changing the level of detail for the expanded and collapsed grip displaying the session information. It'd also be interesting to see how they did the grid animation from expanded to collapsed...
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor

    As for the source code we are going to release it.  We have a few minor tweaks to make it understandable.   Big Smile

  • byronbyron strike1
    ;)I wanted some code driver specs for my plasma.
    HDGas and HDLCD resolution changes.....DVI/HDMI
    Connections...I love the plasma Apps...pretty cool stuff.
    Robert I need a touch...link if poss.
    Love it.........Tongue Out
  • byronbyron strike1
    Im integrating SAT/CABLE/WIRELESS/MOBILE/network and internet.
    Researching CE.NET Win embedded vertical, VS2005,........Tongue Out
  • byronbyron strike1
    I Love this stuff.....Digital Apps.....on digital displays great for all
    Industries, both business and entertainment.......There should be a
    great more interest in this digital area, combining convergent
    integrated technologies.....using delivery method in digital only.Tongue Out
  • Tyler BrownTyler Brown Bullets change governments far surer than votes.
    Ernie, I didn't quite understand the logistics that were explained during the video. You've got one PC running the application, and all of the screens are feeding off of this one application. Does that mean that you basically have the video-out from the PC going to several splitters/amplifiers to send the signal to each plasma display without any signal degradation? We never went 'upstairs' in the video to see the hardware aspect of it all.
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor

    Yes the setup was one computer driving the 40+ plasma screens.  The signal was split using a digital switch box and sent over Ethernet cable to all of the plasma screens which then used a video switch to change the Ethernet into some standard video cable which plugged into the plasma screens. 

    We were broadcasting from 304 so if you were seeing a screen by 500 there was some degradation, but that was a result of the signal going to far in non digital form.  We didn't build the infrastructure so I am just recalling what the guys who built it told us. 

  • Tyler BrownTyler Brown Bullets change governments far surer than votes.
    Thanks for the info. Were there any problems that you guys encountered while implementing this solution? You mentioned using a different Framework element when another one would have normally worked for the given application, something to do with animation. Any problems that you encountered that aren't going to be rectified by RTM?
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    All the problems we had were due to performance.  We used the VideoDrawing class instead of MediaElement for the video, because it has some perf issues in the build we were using.  The WPF team is gearing up with performance tuning so hopefully they will have that working much better by RTM.
  • So basically you have a VisualBrush on a flat mesh in a 3D world. When the cool water effect happens, you raise and lower specific points of the mesh to create a ripple effect? Awesome!

    There's only one problem that I see. VisualBrush is static. It doesn't support playing with the controls that it draws. Although it works great in this situation, it wouldn't work if you wanted the user to be able to select, say, a news item to view more information, or the video to put it in full screen (now obviously, plasma screens do not have the technology to support touch screens, yet).
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor

    Yes we use a VisualBrush on a tessellated mesh.  We use some spring theory to do the simulation. Here is a pointer to the spring theory we used.  We keep track of the points for the mesh is a separate class and then just update the mesh’s point collection 30 times a second.  Yes the VisualBrush is non-interactive so can’t interact with any of the object’s on the screen that are being painted on the 3D surface, but as you pointed out this isn’t an interactive application so that didn’t really matter.  I hope to see lots of cool physic WPF applications Cool


     

  • Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?
  • brian2k1 wrote:
    Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


    Indeed, for me this will be the best bit. I will build one of these myself with old monitors and redundant cat 5. We are going to see a lot of new entrants to the world of programming being able to build appz like this. data <=> presentation is now as envisioned.

    I will build one of these.

    Drex
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    brian2k1 wrote:
    Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


    Sorry to say the answer is no.  What information did you want about the setup?
  • ethanethan .::The right place to be::.

    thanks a lot!!
    It was an amazing video!
    But could you guys post a photo screenshot (with a better resolution than the video) of your application? Because it's so good, we have to see this in good conditions.
    Great job!
    Wink

  • This is some amazing Stuff guys... also i will take that plasma screen Smiley
  • Ernie Booth wrote:
    brian2k1 wrote: Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


    Sorry to say the answer is no.  What information did you want about the setup?


    For me I'd like to know how you kept the program running in a kiosk mode while updating? Did the screens go down or was there some backend that could run on a seperate monitor/comp.

    The idea of sending the video out over cat5 is nothing new to me, but i would be interested in knowing about the splitters used. My idea is to add areas to the system. Ie different sections can see different presentations, but then since this is just data driven all screens could amalgamate. It would be a seperate box per section, which wouldn't be too much of a problem.

    Lastly I would love a few specs on the graphics hardware. I'd be tempted to buy a big box to run all of this, especially when i get the idea that the transitions were poor on perf due to pre beta bits, which could be sped up. And finally i may had a touch screen aspect to this for use on smartboards.

    Excellent job. pm me and we can talk. All credit to yourselves of course but i'd love to implement this.
  • Nothing in particular. I just wanted to see the how it worked. If you have the footage why not show it?



  • Jeff Sandquistjeffsand Inch by Inch
    Drexthepimp wrote:

    For me I'd like to know how you kept the program running in a kiosk mode while updating? Did the screens go down or was there some backend that could run on a seperate monitor/comp.


    We had two computers connected to a video switcher both machines were identical in configuration and software.  The switch box allowed us to change the output video signal to the monitors from one PC to another. 

    So when we needed to update the software we'd just switch to the signal to the other PC and make the update.

    Drexthepimp wrote:

    Lastly I would love a few specs on the graphics hardware. I'd be tempted to buy a big box to run all of this, especially when i get the idea that the transitions were poor on perf due to pre beta bits, which could be sped up. And finally i may had a touch screen aspect to this for use on smartboards.


    They were high end DELL workstations with killer video cards. Wink  I don't have the specs handy hopefully Ernie can reply with them.
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor

    From memory: A Dell with 2 Dual core processors, 2 GB of Ram on PCI-e motherboard,  Dual hard drives and an ATI Radeon X800XL. Is what we used for Scarab.  

    Lots of memory and a good graphics card. Cool

  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!
    Hi Ernie,

    Where will you post the link to the download when it becomes

    available? Any chance of a time frame?

    Thanks, great work!

  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    No date set for release of the code.
  • Tyler BrownTyler Brown Bullets change governments far surer than votes.
    Any update on how the code cleanup is going before the source is released? Or the source no longer being released?
  • I was looking forward to the source code, but I got so excited I couldn't wait.  Here is my first hack at the water effect for everyone that's as excited as me about this demo.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/494253.aspx

    Matt
  • Something new about the code-sample?

    I was developing a similar app for school use, but then I sair this app ,and its amazing!

    With some minior changes it would be perfect Smiley
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    Update: The code is being updated to the latest CTP now that it has been cleaned up.  Nice job on the effect, do you have a screenshot with an image on it?
  • itprochrisitprochris Holiday Avatar made with C9IAC

    So has it been released? The way you said "CTP" made it sound like it is out there somewhere.

    Thanks

  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!
    itprochris wrote:

    So has it been released? The way you said "CTP" made it sound like it is out there somewhere.

    Thanks



    I agree with itprochris..... where is it? I want to see this for real....

    Thanks Big Smile
  • I would love to see some of the code posted.  Any new updates on if/when that is happening?
  • Did somebody forget about releasing the source for this?  If not, could we get an update?
  • Bump. Where be the code?

     

     

  • Bump any code available?
  • Hi Earnie,
    You wrote that "the VisualBrush is non-interactive so can’t interact with any of the object’s on the screen that are being painted on the 3D surface". Is that possible anyway? Can I design sort of a VisualBrush that allows me to interact with the basic controls being rendered upon the mesh?

    thanks
      Q

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